Variants and attestation
Sigma with three bars is the standard variant in Raetic inscriptions. The four-bar variant occurs exclusively in a certain type of petrograph (see Raetic epigraphy) and the epigraphically deviant inscription PU-1. Like Alpha, Sigma sometimes occurs both sinistroverse and dextroverse in the same inscription (e.g. WE-3). The prevalent orientation, however, is with the upper angle opening against writing direction – i.e., turned from the point of view of the related alphabet traditions of Northern Italy –, which also connects the letter with Alpha. Although is technically the standard sinistroverse form in Raetic, the orientation of the letters is described according to common Etruscoid practice, i.e. / = sinistroverse, / = dextroverse, to facilitate comparison with the other North Italic alphabets, and to avoid counter-intuitive ascriptions in the Venetoid inscriptions of the Raetic South.